Determining Recent Sedimentation Rates of the Nueces River System, Texas

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Replacement of wetlands by water and barren flats in the lower alluvial valley and delta of the Nueces River suggests that relative sea-level rise and reductions in sediment supply have rendered the Nueces fluvial-deltaic system incapable of maintaining sufficient elevation to prevent its submergence. The Nueces River system has in the past transported a significant load of suspended sediment (Longley, 1992a), but the construction of upstream dams and reservoirs has greatly reduced the volume of sediment reaching deltaic marshes and other wetland habitats. Still, losses in deltaic environments along the Nueces River have been smaller than in other deltas of the Texas coast (White and Calnan, 1991), so there remains a potential for the Nueces River to deliver enough sediment to offset subsidence and submergence.


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